On mission trips, my heart gets scrubbed clean.
There is something miraculous that happens when volunteering: dirt and grime which cling to our hearts on a regular basis get stripped away. The grit comes in the form of entitlement, selfishness, self-centeredness, and arrogance.
Too often, we think solely of our own problems and fail to see life in the context of the world. Hoarding our resources and time leads to more hoarding.
(teaching in India)
(feature photo above: helping mix concrete in Alaska)
But, giving leads to more giving. When we lend our time or talents to benefit another with no advantage to ourselves, we gain a benefit anyway. Our hearts lighten and open, enabling us to see and experience blessings which otherwise would be blocked. The gratitude for these blessings increases generosity.
(deaf Bible study in Nicaragua)
In Haiti, we had a “Pediatric Unit.” One of the little girls used a bucket to have a bowel movement. Afterward, parasites the size of garden snakes thrashed in the receptacle. She received treatment for her worms and healed.
As I watched her mother sit on the edge of the “hospital bed” along with her other children, they held the hand of the sick little girl. When her body was better, she smiled broadly and left with her family.
She wasn’t my patient, but the experience humbled me. God bestowed the ability to cure this girl on my short-term medical team. It was impossible for my heart to stay the same after witnessing this.
(a memorable ride up the mountain to see the Yukon in Alaska)
This is part of why God calls us to missions, to experience genuine healing and in turn be healed ourselves. We cannot give so freely without undergoing a heart change, without exchanging a heart of stone for a soft heart.
Ezekiel 36:26 reads, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh (NIV). See blog on Ezekiel 36:26.
(busy street in Dehli, India)
As I reflect on my past mission experiences and pray in preparation for my upcoming trip to Honduras, I feel the dirt and grime loosening again. I can’t wait to be inspired, educated, and sharpened by the members of my team.
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. – Proverbs 27:17
(getting ready to fly into bush Alaska)
I’m excited to see God at work in my teammates, the people of Honduras, and in my own heart (scrubbed clean).
Praying for a soft heart every day and heading to Honduras, K.
(Mexico mission team from Epic Church)